Watershops Pond / Lake Massasoit Dam Project

This page is to provide information and updates to the public regarding the Watershops Pond / Lake Massasoit Dam Project.  Questions or comments should be directed to Tina Quagliato Sullivan at tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com

Las preguntas o inquietudes en español pueden enviarse por correo electrónico a Julisa-Davila Ramos a JDavila-Ramos@springfieldcityhall.com

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Project Update - October 13, 2021

Construction Update: Work at the dam is continuing.  The contractor has been focused on repointing one of the existing retaining walls and prepping the site for construction of the other retaining wall that will be expanded to allow for modern access to the dam control box. We are anticipating delivery of the new hydraulic system, Crest Gate and Sluice Gate in the month of November, so the contractor has also been busy prepping the dam and the site for delivery and installation of the new gates and hydraulics. 

Cleanup Update:  The City's contractor is working on scheduling a crane to set up from the public street for the purposes of removing some of the larger debris items from the waterway. We will provide updates once the crane has been scheduled and that debris removal begins. 

Project Update - September 30, 2021

Construction Update:  The contractor has spent a significant amount of time making mortar repairs to the downstream training walls and preparing for installation of scaffolding.  There is now a crane on-site to assist with placement of sandbags, which are required to allow the contractor to make necessary wall repairs. 

Cleanup Update: Arment Trucking has removed 110 contractor bags of debris from the area around the waterway and has hauled away 1,500 pounds of abandoned metal.  The contractor has begun stacking larger bulk debris items near the General Edwards Bridge in preparation for a crane to be set up in the public way to remove the larger debris that is too difficult for them to remove by hand up the inclines surrounding the pond. Residents can continue to email the locations of bulk debris in and around the waterway to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com 

Community Cleanup Day

Thank you to all of our very engaged residents and partners that made the Watershops Pond / Lake Massasoit Community Cleanup Day a success!  Click here to view a great video of the event from Focus Springfield.  All bulk debris reported by residents to date has been removed by the City's contractor.  Residents may continue to report locations of bulk debris to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com  

Project Update - September 16, 2021

Construction Update: Construction at the dam is progressing on schedule.  This past week the contractor has been preparing for installation of the new access-way for the control panel, and continuing preparations for installation of the new Bascule Gate. 

Bulk Cleanup Update:  Cleanup in and around the water by Charlie Arment Construction, Inc., continues.  They have removed a significant amount of bulk debris from the perimeter of the waterway and that cleanup will continue in coming weeks.  Residents that are aware of bulk debris (i.e. tires, metal debris, auto parts, etc.) should continue to email locations of debris to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com 

Community Cleanup Day: The City of Springfield has partnered with Keep Springfield Beautiful, the East Forest Park Civic Association, City Councilor Tim Allen and neighborhood residents on a Community Cleanup Day.  The Community Cleanup Day is scheduled for Satuday, September 18 at 9:00 a.m. 

All members of the public are invited to participate.  Participants will meet in the parking lot of Nathan Bill’s Restaurant at 110 Island Pond Road for registration and coffee. Participants will then head to 2-3 designated sites around the perimeter of the pond for cleanup. Keep Springfield Beautiful and the City of Springfield will provide gloves, trash bags, hand sanitizer and face masks for participants. General information about the event can be obtained by joining the Facebook event set up by neighborhood residents at https://fb.me/e/1ctwCHg49 All participants are encouraged to register in advance at: Lake Massasoit Community Cleanup Registration (google.com)

Residents that plan to participate in the Community Cleanup day are requested to wear appropriate footwear that includes socks and sturdy shoes or boots (not sandals) and to wear long pants, and long sleeves. Participants should apply sunscreen and insect repellent, as appropriate. PLEASE NOTE: It is important to stay within the designated sites and not venture off into the pond as even though the water has been drawn down it still possess as a safety hazard where you can get stuck in the mud.

The City is also encouraging abutters to clean tree debris (i.e. sticks, branches, leaves, etc.) from sandy shorelines behind their rear yards. This debris can be disposed through the normal yard waste disposal process (NOTE: The City strongly discourages residents from going into muddy areas of the drained areas of the pond for any reason, doing so can present a hazard to residents). All yard waste must meet standard DPW requirements for pickup. Yard waste disposal requirements can be found on the City’s website here: https://www.springfield-ma.gov/dpw/index.php?id=yard_waste

In the event of severe weather this event may be rescheduled. If rescheduling is necessary, relevant information will be posted on the City website and social media pages.

Project Update - September 8, 2021

Bulk Cleanup Update: The City has hired Arment Trucking, Inc., to do perimeter cleanup of bulk items around Watershops Pond / Lake Massasoit. They have begun cleanup activities this week in the Agnes Street/Arcadia Blvd area of the East Forest Park Neighborhood. Neighborhood residents should be aware that they are appropraitely authorized to be there and conduct these cleanup activities. 

We continue to ask abutters/residents that are aware of bulk debris in and around the pond to email locations of such debris to Tina Quagliato Sullivan in the Office of Disaster Recovery at tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com. 

Community Cleanup Day: The City and neighborhood representatives have been working together on a public cleanup of select areas around the pond.  This is scheduled for September 18, 2021 @ 9am, participants will meet at the Nathan Bill Restaurant at 110 Island Pond Road for coffee and registration .  Interested residents must register by following this link.  Additional information regarding cleanup will be forthcoming. 

Project Update - August 31, 2021

Water levels around the dam rose approximately 4' as a result of rainfall from Tropical Storm Henri.  The contractor spent the last week doing debris cleanup, removing rust debris from previous demolition activity at the dam and excavating and refilling a test pit being utilized to determine the footing depth for the new access to the dam controls.  It is anticipated that over the next weeks the contractor will continue to work towards construction of the updated accessway to the dam controls. 

The City continues to encourage abutters to email locations of any bulk debris in and around the pond to Tina Quagliato Sullivan at tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com. 

Project Update - August 18, 2021

Officials from several City Departments met virtually with some neighborhood residents on August 17, 2021. City officials present included:

  • Peter Garvey, Director of Capital Asset Construction
  • Patrick Sullivan, Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management
  • Chris Cignoli, Director of the Department of Public Works
  • Tina Quagliato Sullivan, Director of Disaster Recovery
  • Kevin Chaffee, Natural Resources Manager
  • William Cahillane, Project Manager, Capital Asset Construction

The meeting was also attended by Tom Jenkins of GZA, who is serving as the project designer and environmental consultant. 

Residents and the City agreed to work together on a community cleanup day for designated areas of sandy shoreline around Lake Massasoit.  This cleanup is tenatively set for Saturday, September 18.  Residents can obtain more information by following the event page on facebook and as we get closer to the cleanup event the City will post information on this page. The City provided construction updates and there was discussion about long-term health of the pond and actions residents and the City can take to contribute. 

The City has hired Arment Construction to begin bulk cleanup around the pond and encourages residents to submit locations of bulk debris that they notice in and around the waterway to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com. Otherwise the City continues to urge people to stay out of muddy areas of the pond, as one could quickly sink into deep mud which has a quick-sand like quality. 

Residents should continue to monitor this page for regular construction and project updates. 

Project Update - August 17, 2021

Construction Update: The City is happy to share that construction at the dam is now underway!  The contractor has spent the past week clearing debris that was washed towards the dam during the recent heavy rains.  The contractor has spent time clearing debris from the waterway near and around the dam, setting up safety equipment and protocols.  Additionally, preparation for removal of sliuce gate has begun. 

Cleanup Update:  The City intends to utilize a price agreement with Arment Construction to complete bulk debris cleanup from the General Edwards bridge south to the dam.  This will include shoreline cleanup, and the contractor has both the expertise and equipment to navigate the muddy shoreline and to appropriately dispose of debris. The City anticipates this cleanup beginning within the next 30 days.  

Public Meeting: City officials from several departments will be meeting with neighborhood representatives virtually on August 17, 2021 @ 6:30 pm. The City will provide construction updates, give a demonstration of drone footage and continue working with the neighborhood on a neighborhood volunteer cleanup day.  Anybody interested in attending should email tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com in order to obtain the zoom link. 

Project Update - August 5, 2021

Construction Update: The City recieved bids for Resilience Upgrades to Watershops Pond on June 22, 2021.  The contract has been awarded to the lowest, responsible bidder, Gardner Construction & Industrial Srevices, Inc., located in Chicopee, MA. The City is working with the Contractor to finalize contract documents and schedule, but anticipates work to begin on-site in August. 

Cleanup Update: The City continues to recieve requests from the public and neighborhood organizations around cleanup of the pond.  City officials have scheduled a virtual meeting with neighborhood representatives to discuss possible cleanup plans for August 17, 2021 @ 6:30pm.  Residents interested in attending may contact tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com to obtain the virtual link.  The City continues to urge the public to stay out of the pond bed to avoid any accidents. 

Water Health Update: The City has heard from several residents with questions regarding vegetative growth in the pond and if there are plans to address growth. The plant growth within the drained basin of Watershops Pond has relied upon the nutrients already present within the pond-bottom sediments to fuel their growth.  When the water level is returned to normal, the herbaceous plants will die and decay, and the nutrients will return to the sediments.  The decaying vegetation may represent a temporary biological oxygen demand; however, refilling in the springtime months will occur when dissolved oxygen levels in the water are relatively high. 

To address any oxygen demands during the period of operational drawdown, the City has proactively installed an aerator device within the residual pool which is running 24 hours per day to infuse oxygen into the water.

 

The public is encouraged to continue monitoring this website for project updates.  Questions and concerns may be directed to Tina Quagliato Sullivan at tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com 

Project Update June 10, 2021

Construction Update: The construction of the Watershops Dam/Lake Massasoit resilience upgrades is currently out to public bid. Contractor bids are due back to the City on Wednesday, July 16, 2021. The City is expecting to have selected a contractor and construction to begin in the month of July. At this point the City is still anticipating the refill of Watershops Pond to occur in the Spring of 2022.    

Click here to view Solicitation Detail from the Office of Procurement

Cleanup Update: The City continues to recieve requests from the public and neighborhood organizations around cleanup of the pond.  The Parks Department mapping of underground springs and identifying safe cleanup plans are still ongoing.  We anticipate that plan being complete in the Summer of 2021.  In the meantime the City has installed fencing at certain access points and continues to urge the public to stay out of the pond bed to avoid any accidents. 

The public is encouraged to continue monitoring this website for project updates.  Questions and concerns may be directed to Tina Quagliato Sullivan at tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com 

Project Update - April 13, 2021

Construction Update: The Watershops Dam Upgrade project is still on track for the pond to be refilled in the Spring of 2022. The City and our environmental consultants have been working on construction specifications for the dam upgrades, and anticipate the construction portion of the dam project going out to bid in the beginning of May. 

Cleanup Update: The City has recieved requests from the public and neighborhood organizations looking to do clean up at the pond.  There are underground springs that were exposed as a result of the drawdown. Currently the City of Springfield, Parks Department is mapping those springs to create a safe cleanup plan for organizations that want to contribute to clean up of the pond.  We anticipate that plan being complete in the Summer of 2021.  In the meantime the City is still urging people to stay out of the pond bed to avoid any accidents.  

Wildlife Update:  As the warm weather is upon us, the City is aware of the potential of wildlife from the pond moving around.  The City has installed new fencing at the pond that we believe will help protect any turtles or other wildlife from vehicular harm on the adjacent road.  However, as an additional precaution the City of Springfield Parks Department environmental staff is also doing checks to ensure there isn't any unanticipated wildlife movement. 

 

Project Update - December 1, 2020

The City is asking all residents to please stay off the drained area of Watershops Pond.  You may have heard that a resident sunk into the mud up to their chest over the weekend and it required an extensive rescue effort by the Springfield Fire Department.  Please know that the mud surrounding the pond is extremely mushy and can present a quick-sand effect hazard to those walking in it.  While the City believes it will dry out and harden up a bit after having been drained, that likely wont happen for months.  In the meantime, the City is urging all residents to avoid endangering themselves and please steer clear of the drained pond at this time. 

Project Update - November 12, 2020

The pond water levels have drained to the levels they are expected to remain at for the duration of construction.  You may have read on social media about turtles leaving the pond and attempting to cross Wilbraham Road.  The City's Environmental Specialist has teamed up with Mass Wildlife and the T.J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center to catch the turtles leaving the pond before they reach the road, and they are being relocated to an appropriate new home at Mill Pond. The City and T.J.O'Connor continue to monitor the site multiple times per day, to ensure the turtles are being caught before they enter the roadway. To date approximately 60 turtles have been relocated, with the majority being painted turtles.  In addition, one Red Eared Slider and one large Common Snapping turtle have also been relocated. 

The City performed an environmental impact report prior to the commencement of the project, that is available for public review here.  The City intentionally began the drawdown after temperatures dropped significantly during a normally colder part of the year, in part to reduce impact to area wildlife. However, while temperatures were quite cold when the City began the drawdown, environmental experts have advised that the recent unseasonably warm weather have caused the turtles to relocate more rapidly than anticipated.  The City has also explored building a silt barrier to keep the turtles contained to the existing area, but have determined in consultation with the environmental experts that it would likely not achieve the desired outcome, as the turtles would dig under it or move around the barrier to reach their desired location.

The T.J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center have posted the location with their contact information, and we are urging the public to use caution when driving in this area of Wilbraham Road. If the public sees turtles attempting to cross the road please contact T.J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center at 413-781-1484.  

Project Update - November 5, 2020

Water levels throughout Watershops Pond continue to drop.  The City anticipates water levels will continue decreasing through this weekend, at which time the levels will stabilize to the amount they will remain throughout the duration of the temporary drawdown while construction work happens at the dam.  There has been some media coverage about vehicles in the pond, this was anticipated.  The City conducted sonar scanning prior to the drawdown that identified approximately 6-7 vehicles within the pond, the police department has begun to tow these vehicles and will check them against incident reports.  We encourage everyone to continue to check back here for project updates. 

Questions and comments should be directed to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com

 

Project Update - October 29, 2020

Mayor Sarno, Congressman Neal and other City officials held a press announcement at the Watershops Dam today to announce the beginning of the temporary drawdown and the construction schedule. The bottom of the pond is deeper than the low-level outlets at the dam; thus, a residual pool will remain in the deepest portions of the pond basin. The schedule for drawdown is as follows:

Target Date to Commence Drawdown: October 26, 2020

Target Date to Attain Full Drawdown: November 7, 2020

Normal Water Surface Elevation of Watershops Pond: 154.3± feet above sea level (NAVD88)

Normal Area of Watershops Pond: 192.6± acres

Water Surface Elevation of Residual Pool during Drawdown: 140.5± feet above sea level (NAVD88)

Area of Residual Pool during Drawdown: 20± acres

Deepest Point Within Watershops Pond: 135.8± feet above sea level (NAVD88)

Target Date to Commence Refilling of Watershops Pond: April 1, 2022

Target Date to Complete Refilling of Watershops Pond: April 22, 2022

Should the dam repairs be completed sooner than anticipated by the Project schedule, the City may refill the pond in the fall of 2021, if weather events provide sufficient rainfall to do so. Please note that the target dates are approximate and actual times to complete the drawdown or refilling of the pond will be dependent on weather conditions during the operations.

Questions or comments should be directed to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com 

 

Watershops Pond Temporary Drawdown Notice

The City of Springfield has issued a Notice of Temporary Drawdown of Watershops Pond (Lake Massasoit) to begin on October 23, 2020. Full schedule of activity:

Target Date to Commence Drawdown:                                    October 23, 2020

Target Date to Attain Full Drawdown:                                          November 1, 2020

  • Normal Water Surface Elevation of Watershops Pond:               154.3± feet above sea level (NAVD88)
  • Normal Area of Watershops Pond:                                              192.6± acres
  • Water Surface Elevation of Residual Pool during Drawdown:     140.5± feet above sea level (NAVD88)
  • Area of Residual Pool during Drawdown:                                     20± acres
  • Deepest Point Within Watershops Pond:                                     135.8± feet above sea level (NAVD88)

Target Date to Commence Refilling of Watershops Pond:     April 1, 2022

Target Date to Complete Refilling of Watershops Pond:              April 22, 2022

 

All questions or comments should be directed to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com. 

Watershops Pond Dam Project - Single Environmental Impact Report (SEIR)

The City has recently filed a Single Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for the Project, pursuant to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).  This document includes a detailed description of the Project, an alternatives analysis, and an evaluation of potential environmental impacts and mitigation for those impacts.  The SEIR includes the Certificate from the Executive Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs on the EENF, and provides responses to all comments received on the EENF.  You can view this document by clicking on this link https://www.dropbox.com/s/m3dl7kzrnwn0wqx/EEA%20no.%2016234%20-%20Watershops%20Pond%20SEIR.pdf?dl=0

 

City Council Sub-Committee Meeting Scheduled to Discuss Watershops Dam Project

The Springfield City Council Maintenance and Development sub-commitee has scheduled a virtual public meeting for August 25, 2020 at 10:00 am.  City officials will provide updates and information on the project.  

Meeting access information: 


Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84165681998
Meeting ID: 841 6568 1998

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kqJ8jtmlo

City to Present Watershops Dam Project to the Springfield Parks Commission

City officials intend to present the planned Watershops Dam Project to the Springfield Parks Commission on July 16, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.  This is a public meeting and the public may view and access this presentation via zoom, through the information below:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://gza.zoom.us/j/9888347763

Meeting ID: 988 834 7763
Password: 726872

Find your local number: https://gza.zoom.us/u/adTVHaR6h0

 

 

Public Notice of EENF under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA)

On June 15, 2020, the City filed an Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF) under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).  Public notice of the EENF was provided in The Environmental Monitor on June 24 and in the legal ads section of the Springfield Republican in the June 24 edition (see attached copy of the legal ad).  The EENF provides a full description of the Project, its potential for environmental impacts, and proposed mitigation for any unavoidable impacts.  State agencies that must issue permits and approvals will use the MEPA review process to assess the Project’s overall environmental impacts and proposed mitigation of unavoidable impacts.  The project requires MEPA review through a Mandatory Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  The City has requested a Waiver from the requirement to prepare a mandatory EIR or, alternately, approval to prepare a Single EIR.

Watershops Dam Public Presentation

This public presentation has been prepared by the City of Springfield Office of Disaster Recovery, Office of Capital Asset Construction and the City's consultant GZA Geoenvironmental, Inc.  The presentation provides background information on the planned resilience upgrade projects to the Watershops Dam, history of the dam and Watershops Pond and understanding of the funding sources. All members of the public and abutters to Watershops Pond are encouraged to watch the video. All questions and comments may be directed to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com.  

Watershops Pond Dam Project - Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF)

The City has recently filed an Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF) for the Project, pursuant to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).  That document includes a detailed description of the Project, an alternatives analysis, and an evaluation of potential environmental impacts and mitigation for those impacts.  You can view this document by clicking on the heading above this paragraph. 

Page last updated:  Wednesday, September 8, 2021 11:49 am